Race report

Jai Hindley on the attack in final day at Itzulia

Itzulia Basque Country

The final stage of racing at Itzulia would see the rider’s face a short but very tough stage, starting and finishing in Eibar. With six categorised climbs packed into only 118 kilometres of racing, the pace was high from the off. It took until 30 kilometres for a break of 18 to form at the head of the race with Jai Hindley making the move for Team Sunweb.

However, with the GC title still up for grabs, the race was blown to bits with 65 kilometres of the day still remaining. Hindley dug deep to stay with the leaders for as long as possible, riding in the yellow jersey group until the final Cat-1 climb where he let go. Joining up with a selection of riders that included Chris Hamilton, the two Team Sunweb guys followed home in what was the third group on the road, behind eventual stage winner Yates.

 

Speaking at the finish Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston talked through the day: “We followed the same plan as yesterday and tried to get riders into the break, and got Jai in the move today. However, they were really never given more than a minute and the race came back together at the front as it exploded behind. It was good for Jai as he stayed with the yellow jersey group until the final cat-1 climb of the race, and over the top he kept going until the finish. He came home in the same group as Chris which was the third one on the road.” 

Hindley added: “It was a mega-hard day out, especially with yesterday in the legs. Our goal was to try and get someone in the break and and fortunately I got in there. We ended up getting caught at less than half way through, so I just rode it as hard as I could to the line to finish off the race in a good way. We didn’t get any podium results as such but as a really young team I think we road the race really well and can be pleased with the week.”

Reflecting on the week as a whole, Winston was pleased with the effort and commitment on show: “It was a good week overall, with two top fives for us. We had arguably the youngest squad here with several guys under the age of 23 racing but they showed really good work ethic throughout the week. The race provided some good conditioning work for the rest of the season to come.”